The turning of leaves, settling into the fall season … it’s a reality check for me in many ways. Interesting that fall is a synonym for Autumn, implying that a change is happening, dyed by solemn undertones. I love fall for its introspective nature and the brooding feelings that come along with it, from trees going bare to the waning daylight. “You can look around … Nothing but sincerity as far as the eye can see,” declares Linus within the pumpkin patch in search of the Great Pumpkin. Nostalgia in its greatest form … sighing deeply … Listening to jazz during October in the Pacific Northwest is just what the doctor ordered. I threw my sincerity into Eva Cassidy’s version of “Autumn Leaves”. Heartrending music I poured myself into, yet grossly lacking … it’s all I could offer.
"Autumn Leaves" is a popular song. Originally it was a 1945 French song, "Les Feuilles mortes" (literally "The Dead Leaves"), with music by Hungarian-French composer Joseph Kosma and lyrics by poet Jacques Prévert. Johnny Mercer wrote the English lyrics. The Hungarian title is "Hulló levelek" (Falling Leaves). Yves Montand (with Irène Joachim) introduced "Les feuilles mortes" in the film Les Portes de la nuit (1946).
The song is in AABC form. "Autumn Leaves" offers a popular way for beginning jazz musicians to become acquainted with jazz harmony as the chord progression consists almost solely of ii-V-I and ii-V sequences which are typical of jazz. It was originally, and is most commonly, performed in the key of G minor, but is also played in E minor and other keys. Eva Cassidy's version is played in B-flat minor.
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